Fallout Legal Fallout

Gamasutra follows up on previous indications that a legal battle is brewing over the Fallout IP. This is not actually over the rights to create a Fallout MMOG that Interplay retained when they sold the Fallout rights to Bethesda, but rather over recent bundles and other deals concerning the original Fallout games. Bethesda is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against manufacture, sale, and distribution of the Fallout Trilogy, which includes the classic PC games Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics, saying "while Interplay was permitted to sell pre-existing Fallout games, it was required to submit to Bethesda all relevant packaging, advertising, and promotional material prior to bringing the catalog titles to market." Word is:
But Bethesda claimed that Interplay never sought pre-approval for those materials. The plaintiff said because of the alleged trademark infringement, consumers have become confused between the makers of the pre-existing Fallout games and Bethesda's more recent Fallout 3 -- a situation that Bethesda wanted to avoid.

Bethesda also accused Interplay of breaching the trademark agreement by signing licensing agreements with digital distribution sites like Steam, GOG.com, and GameTap to sell older Fallout games. The company claimed Interplay's alleged actions have caused the studio "immediate, substantial, and irreparable harm."

Bethesda is also asking the court for a declaration stating a trademark licensing agreement between the two companies is terminated. In 2007, Bethesda purchased the Fallout franchise from Interplay in full for $5.75 million. Within that purchase agreement was a trademark licensing agreement, the complaint said, that allowed Interplay to license back the rights to develop an MMO based on the Fallout series.
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47.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 14, 2009, 01:23
47.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 14, 2009, 01:23
Sep 14, 2009, 01:23
 
Hmm, now that you mention it, I do remember GTA IV having that in it. I actually worked out in the gym, or boxed, or something for a bit. It's been so long since I played though I'd forgotten. Probably where the idea came from, lol.
If I remember right, those attributes were used more for getting girlfriends then to actually improve gameplay, but it's been a while.
Now, if you rolled this boosted stat leveling into the actual gameplay instead of a separate mini game though, it wouldn't be tedious and would instead be a sort of reward for playing a certain way.
You like fighting, so you either use a weapon and fight enemies or use your fist and fight enemies. Using the weapon to fight builds strength and gives a minor boost to dexterity. Hand to hand is a major boost to dexterity and minor to strenth. As long as you do what you want to do in that case, ie. fighting to solve issues, you aren't having to do any extra work to keep the stats boosted.
If instead you like to solve puzzles or use magic (however the game is set up), you boost the intelligence stat and as long as you keep solving puzzles in that manner, that stat also keeps up to the boosted state.
So basically, you're rewarded for playing the game like you want to anyways.
46.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 21:19
46.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 21:19
Sep 13, 2009, 21:19
 
Then you switch to dexterity and neglect strength building activities so your strength slowly falls back to the base level. That would be a pretty good semi-simulation of real life, ie. you don't work out, you don't stay strong.

GTA: San Andreas actually had a system like this. Your character's skills and attributes would improve by working out, driving, shooting, fighting, etc. If you stopped working out and ate a lot of food, you'd eventually get fat too. However, I don't think any of this really improved the game. It was too conducive to grinding and distracted players from the more interesting aspects of the game. This is probably why they removed the RPG elements in GTA4.
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45.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 21:12
45.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 21:12
Sep 13, 2009, 21:12
 
PST was from D&D. the setting the characters the mechanics, everything.

Way to completely miss the point. The D&D ruleset was the weakest part of PST. I've never been a big fan of using dice rolls to determine the success of lockpicking, pickpocketing or hiding. Those skills should be all or nothing. You can either do them or you can't, you shouldn't be able to keep rolling until you succeed. Requiring specific skill/attribute levels per instance would be a much better system and would prevent players from simply quickloading each time they fail an attempt. But I digress. Would PST have been ruined without leveling? No, not at all. If you invested all your character points at the start of the game instead of throughout it, the writing still would have been excellent and the amount of choice and consequence would have remained intact. These are the things that made PST great, not the D&D mechanics. If you honestly think PST was great because it used the D&D ruleset, you are a complete retard.

If we were talking about Diablo, you'd actually have a point. Loot and leveling are really the only motivations to play a hack 'n slash game and without them, you end up with a mindless, tedious action game.
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44.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 19:46
44.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 19:46
Sep 13, 2009, 19:46
 
Technically you could throw out leveling (in RPG's in general), maybe make it so that you acquired skills or perks throughout the game instead of levels. Say, you want to be a blacksmith, you find one and he/she, through quests, trains the blacksmithing skill to you. You then level it through usage.
Perks could be increased dexterity, strength, constitution, etc.
You go to a body builder, he trains you through quests and your maximum strength goes up. At that point, through physical activity (fighting, weight lifting, carrying heavy objects) your strength slowly builds over time until the actual level now matches the maximum potential level.
Go to a martial artist, he raises your dexterity cap and through hand to had combat and other similar activities you build the dexterity up to the new cap level.
This would be the same for other stats also. Now, as to the next part I'm not sure the best way to work it. Let someone raise the cap on all stats, then through work let them increase the stat to the new cap, which could be a bit overpowered, or instead let someone raise all the stats but require they keep working to retain the level.
Example being strength, you weight lift, carry loads for people, and fight to get strength to level to it's maximum cap from the starting one. Then you switch to dexterity and neglect strength building activities so your strength slowly falls back to the base level. That would be a pretty good semi-simulation of real life, ie. you don't work out, you don't stay strong.
The other option would to only let a person raise the cap on a limited number of stats, but retain the stat at that new cap when it was reached without requiring working that stat out to keep it there. Less work, less chance of being overpowered.
Those are my thoughts, after pondering a bit, on a way to replace leveling and still retaining a feeling of character advancement without entirely locking you into the initial stat choices you would take at character creation.
43.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 18:12
43.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 18:12
Sep 13, 2009, 18:12
 
of course its important you nitwit. PST was from D&D. the setting the characters the mechanics, everything.

you are a complete retard if you think character levels have nothing to do with traditional RPGs. wow. just, wow.
42.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 16:48
42.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 16:48
Sep 13, 2009, 16:48
 
If I had picked up Planescape and hadn't been able to level my character, it would not be "just as great"... I would have been pissed off at devs for butchering the concept of the game.

Really? I don't think leveling really added anything to either of those games. Fallout was great because it was so open-ended and you could go anywhere, anytime. The narrative was also open-ended, as how much you learned of the story depended on where you went, who you talked to and what you did. This wouldn't have changed without leveling. PST was great because of its writing and the fact that you could basically talk your way through every situation. Again, this wouldn't have changed without leveling. As I said before, leveling is important to lots of people but I don't think it's important to the genre itself.
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41.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 14:43
41.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 14:43
Sep 13, 2009, 14:43
 
Looks like Bethesda wants the rights to making an MMO removed from Interplay. Given the success of Fallout 3 I can't say I blame them though this is kind of a sleazy way to go about it.
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"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

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40.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 10:30
40.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 10:30
Sep 13, 2009, 10:30
 
So you don't like any games that don't have leveling? The primary motivation to play any game should be the gameplay itself, not leveling. Fallout, Planescape Torment and all the other classic RPGs would have been just as great if there was no leveling and you just decided your stats at the start of the game.

Sorry, I disagree.

RPG mechanics are part of the game genre. What you're saying essentially amounts to... oh... that its unrealistic that your full tech tree would be unavailable at the start of an RTS game, so you shouldn't have to first research a Command Post Addon to get Super Assault Troopers. And maybe this is right, but it's still a valid part of the gameplay of a lot of RTS games.

Just like leveling is. A lot of people enjoy leveling up a character. And lets not forget where RPG games come from... They come from the tabletop games. "RPG" in this context does not simply mean behaving like a medic if you happen to be a medic in a game, it implies a whole assortment of baggage that goes along with it... Leveling mechanics in some form (Be they simple leveling up, or more complex skill-and-talent systems) are almost universal among pen-and-paper RPGs, and would be expected from most RPG players if they picked up a game that billed itself as an RPG... Particularly, to use your examples, Fallout and Planescape: Torment... Fallout, for example, being well known to have been "inspired" by GURPS, and Planescape being one of the most widely acclaimed Dungeons and Dragons lines. If I had picked up Planescape and hadn't been able to level my character, it would not be "just as great"... I would have been pissed off at devs for butchering the concept of the game.

Would it have impacted the story? No. Well, not much, it would have in a few places. But the story is only part of the reason I play computer games. If I just wanted a good story, I'd read a book or watch a movie. I play computer games to be entertained, and I find RPGs (leveling mechanics included) entertaining.
39.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 03:09
39.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 03:09
Sep 13, 2009, 03:09
 
The process of leveling and trying different things can, in a way, aid you in determining which stats are more beneficial to you as you try skills and abilities out in different situations.

This is true. Leveling allows for experimentation in the early game, though the point of this is debatable. If a player makes a lousy character, they will likely start the game over as soon as they realize it. If they continue with the lousy character, they'll be able to compensate for their early choices but will be bottlenecked by them as well. Like a player choosing Barter, First Aid and Gambling as tag skills in Fallout. It wouldn't take long for them to realize how poor those choices were and restart the game as a result.

Give a newer player, or a not so good one, all the stat points at once to dole out and they quite likely will end up with a bad character that they have to use their own skills to play.

That's the tricky part. There really shouldn't be any "bad characters." Every build should be a viable way to play through the game. One big problem is that major skills are often grouped with minor skills so it's possible for an inexperienced player to focus entirely on minor skills. A better system would distinguish between major and minor skills and give players a set amount of points to allocate to each.

Yes, there are exceptions, but even KOTOR relied pretty heavily on beating up/killing the bad guy instead of convincing him/her to turn good (Fallout and Planescape being notable exceptions).

Bioware's RPGs have typically been very combat-centric. They've never been as open-ended as the Black Isle/Troika RPGs.

So while I do agree that a game allowing you to be a master of everything is too much, locking someone into being the master of one thing is very restrictive to playing the game.

Players wouldn't have to be locked into mastering one skill. At the start of the game, they'd have a set amount of points to allocate to attributes and skills. If they want to be a tank, they'd put all their points in Strength, Endurance and combat skills. If they want to be a smooth-talking thief, they'd put their points in Dexterity, Charisma, speechcraft, pickpocketing, etc. They'd still have the ability to create their own unique characters, they just wouldn't be able to change them after the fact.

I don't really have a problem with leveling in general (except when it's in competitive multiplayer games), I just don't think it's an essential part of RPGs. I do admit that it is an important element to many people, though.
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38.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 02:44
Kxmode
 
38.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 02:44
Sep 13, 2009, 02:44
 Kxmode
 
Bethesda sure seems to be turning into a micro EA aren't they? A little too greedy etc.

If you paid 5.75 MILLION dollars you would do the same thing. There's nothing greedy about protecting your property. Besides trademarking laws in the United States say you must protect your trademark or you lose it.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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37.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 02:19
37.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 02:19
Sep 13, 2009, 02:19
 
I think you're mistaking stats for leveling.
No, I'm not, I just explained myself badly, so I'll try again. Your reply actually helped me sort my thoughts a bit better.
What I was saying, to use your stat and role example, is that by either giving a player a fixed set of stats, or a pool of stats to allocate at the beginning of the game, you end up with a static character. As it is now, you usually get a few stat points to allocate, and as you level you get more. The process of leveling and trying different things can, in a way, aid you in determining which stats are more beneficial to you as you try skills and abilities out in different situations. This is especially true for newer or not so good players, not so true (or not true at all) for more advanced ones. Give a newer player, or a not so good one, all the stat points at once to dole out and they quite likely will end up with a bad character that they have to use their own skills to play. As most RPG I have played on computers, or even consoles, rely heavily on combat, this reliance on a players personal skills would turn toward their combat skills rather than creative ones. Yes, there are exceptions, but even KOTOR relied pretty heavily on beating up/killing the bad guy instead of convincing him/her to turn good (Fallout and Planescape being notable exceptions). So to compensate for stats that you can't change or modify, you either fall back on personal skill or reroll and try again. Hopefully that makes more sense this time, lol.

Leveling shouldn't be your only incentive to continue playing.
Never said it was, just said it was a driving force. That's why I said I was a guy enjoying the story and gameplay and put improving my character (getting levels) as the last part.
While I agree that stats should be important, I don't feel that locking someone into only those stat choices at character creation is good. You should have some leeway to improve. In real life for example, if you choose to be a baker that doesn't also mean you can't become a race car driver too. You just have to put time and effort into learning the skills. So while I do agree that a game allowing you to be a master of everything is too much, locking someone into being the master of one thing is very restrictive to playing the game. Even roleplaying the game.

As for the third point you make, I agree. Choices in a game should mean something and should give a sense of growth, and in many games they do. However, there are only so many choices and situations that can be put into a computer RPG. The developers can think of many story variances, but in the end they have a fixed story to tell. They won't be there to come up with on the fly changes or alterations to that story like would be possible in a pen and paper RPG. If you kill someone, they might think of the revenge angle but could forget the possibility someone could die down the line since the person who would otherwise have saved them was killed by you. Leveling is a fall back crutch, come up with story growth as much as you are able to (either through skill or time constraints) and fall back on growth by leveling to augment the growth through story. Old school RPG's I could see throwing out leveling and have many of them still work, but few of the modern ones would work without it in the state they are in. Maybe with modifications, but not otherwise.
36.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 02:13
Kxmode
 
36.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 02:13
Sep 13, 2009, 02:13
 Kxmode
 
I agree with the use of "Trilogy" in packaging designs too. First time I saw that I thought Fallout 1, 2, and 3. The price was REALLLY good. I could totally see the confusion. I'm going to side with Bethesda on this one.

This comment was edited on Sep 13, 2009, 02:15.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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35.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 02:00
35.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 02:00
Sep 13, 2009, 02:00
 
The only game that did the leveling right was Ultima Online. You could get some great skills and stats but never had more than 100 hitpoints. It was always scary.

34.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 00:54
34.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 00:54
Sep 13, 2009, 00:54
 
Sure, you could get rid of leveling and throw it back on the player improving their playing skills much like a player of, say, Quake would improve by playing and not leveling.

I think you're mistaking stats for leveling. RPGs should ideally have stats, as they define the role you play. However, leveling isn't necessary. You decide upon the role you want to play at the start of the game and then you stick with it for the rest of the game. Player skill is irrelevant. If you make a purely diplomatic character, you will never become a good fighter and you will never win most fights. However, a good RPG would let you resolve situations in any manner of ways so your character choice would never become a game-breaker.

But leveling, and gaining skills and abilities, is a driving force in continuing to play since it gives you a reward, which gives incentive to play more.

Leveling shouldn't be your only incentive to continue playing. Gameplay should be the primary incentive. Story can help too. I enjoy RPGs because they give me meaningful choice. This choice would exist even without leveling. The key difference is that your initial character choices would be extremely significant. There would be very little margin for error and you'd be stuck with whatever choices you made. This is in stark contrast to Elder Scrolls or Fallout 3, where you inevitably become a master at everything.

If that were removed from the game, I'd be fine with it as long as there was something put in to still give that sense of character growth in the game world beyond whatever I have to come up with myself in my head.

For me, that "growth" stems from seeing the consequences of the choices I've made throughout the game. If I choose to kill a certain character, I want to see the repercussions. Will his brother try to avenge him? Will his town fall apart? Will someone I care about die because he wasn't there to save them? Star Control 2 doesn't have any leveling or even stats. However, I consider it an RPG because it offers many choices and those choices have long-term consequences.
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33.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 00:39
33.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 00:39
Sep 13, 2009, 00:39
 
The concept that a person (or character) will never improve over an extended length of time and repetition is even less realistic than the problem you propose.

I wouldn't exactly call RPG leveling "realistic." Last I checked, I don't get experience points which I can then invest in any skill I want. Elder Scrolls leveling is the most realistic, to a degree. Bashing my sword against someone for five hours isn't going to make me an expert swordsman.

If you think progressing through a game and never "improving" sounds like fun, well, I'll respectfully disagree with you.

So you don't like any games that don't have leveling? The primary motivation to play any game should be the gameplay itself, not leveling. Fallout, Planescape Torment and all the other classic RPGs would have been just as great if there was no leveling and you just decided your stats at the start of the game.
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32.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 00:36
32.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 00:36
Sep 13, 2009, 00:36
 
Not necessarily. Just give the player a set amount of character points to divide amongst skills and attributes at the start of the game. Even if you remove leveling, the player is still forced to role-play.

There's a difference between playing a character and role-playing a character.
Me, when I play any of the Fallout games, I'm not sitting there thinking of myself as a vault dweller out to survive in the real world.
I'm just someone sitting in a chair, playing a computer game, enjoying the story and gameplay, and working on improving my character.
And that, right there, is why leveling up exists. To give you a means of improving your character. It has nothing to do with role-playing.
Sure, you could get rid of leveling and throw it back on the player improving their playing skills much like a player of, say, Quake would improve by playing and not leveling. That could work, but in the end depending on what the game offered you'd just end up with a shooter/racer/simulation/etc. with a story (unless you had an exceptional developer who could make it a bit more, but honestly how many of those exist any more?).
If you remove leveling, and make the game about improving your playing skills and equipment, you've just substituted equipment for leveling. Although admittedly, you do get better equipment as you play most games as it is, so it wouldn't be that big of a change there. But leveling, and gaining skills and abilities, is a driving force in continuing to play since it gives you a reward, which gives incentive to play more.
Leveling also is pretty helpful to more casual/less hardcore players, at least that's my thinking on the matter. If your reflexes aren't quite good enough in one part of the game, just level and improve some stats to make up for your reflexes. If you can't aim that well, level up and improve a stat that compensates for your aim. If you can't seem to find an item that would help get past a certain quest, level up and get a skill that compensates. Remove leveling, and you remove that compensation from the game and you would lose some of the potential players.
Leveling, for me, gives me a sense that my character is growing and becoming more powerful with experience. If that were removed from the game, I'd be fine with it as long as there was something put in to still give that sense of character growth in the game world beyond whatever I have to come up with myself in my head.
31.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 13, 2009, 00:13
31.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 13, 2009, 00:13
Sep 13, 2009, 00:13
 
Not necessarily. Just give the player a set amount of character points to divide amongst skills and attributes at the start of the game. Even if you remove leveling, the player is still forced to role-play.

The concept that a person (or character) will never improve over an extended length of time and repetition is even less realistic than the problem you propose.

There's a happy medium. If you think progressing through a game and never "improving" sounds like fun, well, I'll respectfully disagree with you.
30.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 12, 2009, 23:22
30.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 12, 2009, 23:22
Sep 12, 2009, 23:22
 
Man, WTF, twice in on thread, now I agree with Jerykk too!

The idea that leveling up is role playing is weak. Role playing is playing as a praticual role i.e. medical man who helps all, or thieving bastard who enjoys stealing off old ladies. Unless you do that in real life, you are most likely role playing.

I have meet people who can not role play, every time they try, they seem to play it just the same... for years ... I mean, if you play games to behave like you do in real life, you anit role playing much.

In GTA 4, I role played - as Niko - yet never leveled up.
29.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 12, 2009, 23:18
29.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 12, 2009, 23:18
Sep 12, 2009, 23:18
 
Sure it is. It's just not called "Deus Ex 2". But it's a direct sequel to the first game.

Yup, and the next one is called Deus Ex 3.

Same with Thief: Deadly Shadows and now Theif 4.

Damn, what happened to those games anyway? No news at E3?
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28.
 
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout
Sep 12, 2009, 23:14
28.
Re: Fallout Legal Fallout Sep 12, 2009, 23:14
Sep 12, 2009, 23:14
 
Deus Ex: Invisible War is *not* Deus Ex 2

Sure it is. It's just not called "Deus Ex 2". But it's a direct sequel to the first game.
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47 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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